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Primary Election Day has arrived – Imperial County residents must cast their vote by 8 p.m.

CBS 13 on your side's Vanessa Gongora reports on how locals prepared for Election Day

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - A big day especially for the candidates of the 14 races happening in Imperial County. With approximately 87,000 registered voters throughout the county, the Registrar of Voters say today is going to be a very busy day.

Linsey Dale, Imperial County Registrar of Voters, says they began their morning very early to prepare for Primary Election Day.

"We begin at about 5 a.m. Our poll workers start arriving at their precincts at their precincts at 6 a.m. and polls open at 7 a.m.," Dale said. "So you can imagine it's a very early morning and we will be going way into the night, possibly into Wednesday morning as well. So we have a very long day."

Dale says they have already opened, processed and started tabulating ballots that have came in the mail.

"Now those results will not be shown until 8 p.m. So the results that you see at 8 p.m. represent those ballots that have been received before election day. Tabulation for the precincts that come in, so the people that come into the precinct and use one of our new tablets that we have, those will be processed this evening," Dale explained. "So as you see the election results come out through the night, you start seeing those precincts. As they report in we start tabulating those votes that came in that way."

She says after Election Day, they start working on the mail in ballots that were dropped off on Election Day and start the processing of those as well.

One of the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) candidates for Division 1, Alex Cardenas, says he's excited about today.

"I feel really good. We've left it all on the field. This probably has been one of my greatest campaigns. We've kicked every rock and knocked on over 3,000 doors so it's been an amazing effort, an amazing team, we are feeling great," said Cardenas.

Cardenas says being re-elected is critical.

"The premise has always been affordable and reasonable rates but moving forward it's about creating a new economy around renewable energy. Imperial Valley is ready to take center stage when it comes to lithium extraction and renewable energy," says Cardenas. "So moving forward new economy, prosperity, incredible jobs and super excited for our residents here in Imperial County."

Ramon Castro, candidate for IID Division 3 says he's excited but nervous if he does make the top two.

"I know what it entails. It's scary and not just that, because we're looking past the victory into the awesome responsibility it comes with being an IID director and a true representative of the people," Castro said. "It's a lot of work and something I'm ready to take on but that's actually what scares me the most is the fact if we actually win and the responsibility that comes with it which I take very seriously."

Castro says obtaining this position is important to him because his family lives in Imperial County.

"This is where we've invested everything that we have and if you look at what's happening with the water wars and we end up drying it out, everything that you and I have invested in this community will be gone for good. Having to start again, we don't have deep pockets like some of the other folks who are okay with selling off the water," says Castro. "We're not. It's important for us. This is our community. This is what we've invested. We've been here and we're going to be here and so I want my place and my kids to grow up here and have a good quality of life and not have to go somewhere else. Just to live better than we do here."

There are three IID races. IID Division 1 and 5 only have two candidates each which is tougher because this is the big election for them. One of them will walk away with the win. IID Division 3 has four candidates, so the top two will move on to the election in November unless one of them comes up with 50 percent plus one.

The El Centro Mayor, Tomas Oliva explains the 50 percent plus one rule for local races.

"You can have four candidates and if any one of them comes up with 50 percent plus one other vote, they win. Now the likelihood of that happening is very low and so that's why we say top two goes to November. But if you have a race where there's only two, the chances are 100% that one of them is going to get 50 percent plus one cause it can't go any other way," says Oliva. "Somebody is going to end up with a little more than the other and so the decision is made. They will basically ride out the rest of the year as the position elect and then they will assume office in December, January depending on the position. But again these are only for local races."

The results of the Primary Election will be aired on our broadcast tonight. You can watch on FOX 9 at 9 p.m and NBC 11/CBS 13 at 10 p.m.

Article Topic Follows: Local Politics
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Vanessa Gongora

Vanessa Gongora joined the KYMA News 11 team in 2021.

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